XTI TriFan Prototype Makes First Flight

 - May 9, 2019, 7:47 AM
XTI's scale prototype TriFan has made its first flight. (Photo: XTI Aircraft)

XTI Aircraft Company (XTI) successfully completed the first flight of a 65 percent scale prototype of its TriFan 600 VTOL last week in Placerville, California. The unmanned, tethered flight occurred on May 2 and included multiple takeoffs, hover, and landings, which validated the electric motors, battery power system, ducted fan propulsion, flight controls, other electrical systems, and instrumentation. 

XTI said future flights at a certified UAV test facility will be untethered and will test hover, forward, and wing-borne flight as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.

“In one year, we have progressed from conceptual design to a flying prototype,” said XTI CEO Robert LaBelle. “The aircraft proved to be stable in hover and had no problems throughout several runs.”

Once produced in full scale, the TriFan 600 will seat six, have a top speed of 300 knots, a maximum range of 1,200 nm, and a service ceiling of 29,000 feet. XTI previously reported it had booked reservations for 77 aircraft from customers worldwide. Total value of the orders is $500 million.